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Drug dealer sentenced over drug trafficking scheme involving postal carrier

Rudolph Dwight Hanchard, 40, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in a drug trafficking scheme that diverted $30,000 in marijuana shipments mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, said federal authorities.

Hanchard, a Jamaican national, previously was convicted of bribing a public official and attempting to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Parcels containing marijuana were mailed from California and Arizona to Hanchard for sale in Buffalo, according to Wei Xiang, assistant U.S. attorney. Hanchard was arrested in 2016 while on his way to take pick up a package containing marijuana delivered to a house on Stockbridge Avenue, Xiang said. He was carrying $9,960 at the time.

Also, from August 2015 to October 2015, Hanchard paid former postal carrier Briana Fugate to steal drug packages from mail that she was delivering, said Xiang. When Fugate was arrested, Hanchard owed her over $3,000, according to authorities.

Fugate, a two-year postal employee, had provided addresses of people on her mail route, according to court documents. Fugate then intercepted boxes of narcotics mailed to the addresses from the West Coast and gave them directly her alleged accomplice in exchange for payments of between $200 and $300 per box, court documents stated.

Fugate, 25, who worked out of the Central Park Post Office on Manhattan Avenue, pleaded guilty in February 2016 to three felony charges, including bribery and distribution of marijuana. She will face up to 30 months in prison when she is sentenced Aug. 17.

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